City of Logan
The Shoshone Indians called the river "Kwagunogwai" which means "river of the cranes". The trappers and traders who came to trap beaver and attend the rendezvous called the river "Logan." The Mormon Pioneers who built their town near the river, called it Logan after the river and a friendly Indian chief.
Logan, the Cache County Seat, is 80 miles northeast of Salt Lake City, and 20 miles south of the Utah-Idaho border. It is located on the east side of Cache Valley at the mouth of Logan Canyon. Cache Valley is quite level, about 60 miles long and 15 miles wide. The area has a four season climate. Winters are usually mild but linger. Spring arrives late and ends abruptly in June. Summer can exit in a matter of hours and the mountain's fall colors rival those in New England. The elevation varies between 4500 feet and 4700 feet above sea level; the city was built on the lakebed and terraces of ancient Lake Bonneville.
The population of Logan in 2003 was 45,626, Cache County population in 2004 was 100,182. In the 2000 Cache County Census, 31.3% of the population were children under the age of 18. There is also a population of approximately 20,000 students who attend Utah State University and the Bridgerland Applied Technology Center.
Logan's LTD bus system is free throughout the city. The Cache Valley Transit District buses are free throughout the Valley. The Logan Transit Center was opened in the fall of 2001. It is located in the center of Logan and is used by all buses in the Cache Valley. The Greyhound Bus system is routed through Logan. The Logan-Cache airport serves small jet planes. There are shuttle buses to and from Cache Valley to the Salt Lake International Airport.
Interstate I-15 freeway is a short ride from the Valley and there are two major Utah highways that converge in Logan. Highway 89 is the main highway from Brigham City to Logan over the high mountain pass in Sardine/Wellsville Canyon; it crosses the valley to Logan and then travels east to Bear Lake. Highway 91 meets 89 in the center of Logan and travels north into Idaho. Highway 30, the Valley View Highway, begins in Logan and travels west through Petersboro and Collinston and into Box Elder County. Because this route is over a lower mountain pass, the railroad that transported goods to and from Cache Valley in the early days went over this route, just as it does today.
The Logan City newspaper, the Herald Journal, is published daily. There are several radio stations and cell phone boosters, a television station, and cable and satellite television, as well as several internet providers.
There are three general areas for business in Logan. A shopping center is being developed at the south end of Logan. The Downtown Business District in the city center consists of buildings that have been refurbished using the original late nineteen hundred buildings. At the north end of Logan is the Cache Valley Mall where a shopping center is being developed. There are many high tech businesses located in the Logan area as well as manufacturing and construction companies.
July 1st, 1975, an election was held in Logan that changed the form of City Government. The council-mayor form of government, which provided for five councilmen and a mayor, superseded the old form, which consisted of a mayor and two commissioners. Logan was the first community in Utah to adopt this form of government.
Logan City's power plant operation began in 1888 at 3rd West Street in Logan. It is unique in that it was one of the first cases of municipal ownership in Utah. The original Logan City Hydroelectric Light Plant began operation in 1904. Logan City owns a large share of its power.
Logan City facilities are located in several areas in the City. A Service Center is located on the west part of town which houses the large equipment needed to service the City, such as street sweepers, dump trucks, trash collection equipment, etc. The Administrative Offices and City Library are located on Main Street on the city office block. Construction on the new Logan City Post Office was completed in 2001 and is a complimentary building to the newly completed Police/Court complex on the opposite corner of the city block. The main Fire Station is located a block east of the main administrative offices and a station was recently completed near the USU campus.
The first annual event in the spring is the Summerfest Art Faire where musicians play for three days and artisans sell their wares. The 4th of July can be celebrated at Willow Park and at the fireworks program in the stadium at Utah State University. The Cache County Fair and Rodeo are later in the summer. Participants from all over come for the Cache Valley Cruise-In, a parade and fair of vintage automobiles. All summer long there are softball games in nearly every town, and golf at several excellent golf courses in the Valley. Soccer is popular in the spring and in the fall.
Hiking and biking trails, lakes and streams great for fishing, horseback riding in the summer and snowmobile riding in the winter are a few of the experiences to be had in the unbelievable mountains that surround Cache Valley. Logan Canyon holds a secret, Beaver Mountain ski resort, a family run business since 1939. The famous Hardware Ranch, an elk winter feeding ground where the elk can be seen from horse drawn sleighs, can be reached by a paved road in Blacksmith Fork Canyon. It is said that a gold miner's lost treasure is buried nearby.
There are numerous cultural opportunities in Cache Valley, such as the Utah Festival Opera Company’s opera productions in the beautifully restored, elegant, state of the art Ellen Eccles Theatre where opera, ballet companies and entertainers from all over the world perform. USU's summer plays at the Caine Lyric Theater are popular. The theater is said to have a resident ghost that likes Shakespeare. There are several art galleries including USU’s Nora Eccles Harrison Art Museum. The American West Heritage Center is famous for its Dutch Oven Cook off, Cowboy poetry contests, Mountain Man trading rendezvous, Buffalo soldiers, tribal encampments of the Shoshone Native American village, and events every month of the year including a frontier Christmas.
LOGAN’S HISTORIC DISTRICT
Logan is proud of its heritage. The Logan Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. This consists of part of Main Street with its shops and businesses and part of Center Street where large beautiful homes were first built in Logan. Several older homes have been converted into Bed & Breakfast Inns. The one hundred year old train depot has been restored as a restaurant and trains stop there again. An early abandoned dance hall has become the wonderful home of the Utah Festival Opera Company.
HOW LOGAN GOT ITS NAME
A small group of pioneer settlers held a meeting around a campfire on July 10, 1859 to choose a name for the new settlement, to organize the people and to set the boundaries of the town. John P. Wright was asked to give it a name. He made a speech about the river by their camp, which was named Logan, and about an Indian chief named Logan who had been kind to the settlers in the mid-west. He thought that would be a good name for the town and all agreed.
Logan was settled in the spring of 1859 by three groups of Mormon Pioneers, the Ralph Smith Company, David Reese Company and the John P. Wright Company. Some of the first people who were influential in Logan were Peter Maughan, Ezra T. Benson, John P. Wright, William B. Preston, Moses Thatcher and Thomas E. Ricks. Logan City was incorporated in 1866 by the Utah Territorial Legislature. In 1866 telegraph lines linked Logan to the rest of Utah. The Utah Northern Railroad was completed to Logan in 1873. A newspaper was started in 1879. In 1880 the first incandescent electric light plant in Utah was established in Logan. The first telephone in the Valley was installed in 1881.
The early people of Logan built some impressive buildings. The Mormon Temple, dedicated in 1884, and the Tabernacle completed in 1891, are landmarks in the City. The Cache County Courthouse was finished in 1883 and Old Main, the administrative building of Utah State University, in 1902. St. John's Episcopal Church, famous for its glass stained window, was constructed in 1909 and the Ellen Eccles Theatre was built in 1923. Many beautiful homes that were built along Center Street where the Pioneers first settled Logan have been restored.
Agriculture was the pioneer's main means of sustenance. Early in the town's history trade began to develop. Hezekiah Thatcher a pioneer of commerce in Cache Valley opened one of the first mercantile institutions. Other industries developed such as saw mills and gristmills, a lime kiln, a tannery and a carding mill. The coming of the railroad gave the valley a market for its produce and its first money, before that, trade was in kind. By the turn of the century, Cache Valley was famous for cheese making and knitted garments and was at the extreme southern margin of the Northwestern Wheatbelt. Architecture and Learning gave Cache Valley the name of the "Athens of Utah" By 1940 Logan had an airport, a radio station, and a motion picture movie theater with motiograph sound machinery found in only a few theaters west of the Mississippi.
World War II brought many changes to Cache Valley. The local soldiers went off to war, and U.S. soldiers were brought to Cache Valley to train to fly planes. Prisoners of war were brought here to work in the sugar beet fields. Logan citizens rode the train to Ogden to work at Hill Air force Base. The war changed their lives forever. More machines, cars and modern conveniences came to Cache Valley. In 1952 Television arrived and widened their view of the world. With progress came a new hospital, more educational opportunities and the opening of Bridgerland Applied Technology Center; the development of the Zoo at Willow Park, the LTD bus system, and a sewer treatment system. The restoration of important historical buildings, cultural and recreational opportunities, and business growth characterized the end of the 20th Century.
Logan is close to the metro areas of the Wasatch Front, yet just far enough away to enjoy a hometown feel. At the turn of the Twenty-first Century Logan is growing and a beautiful place to live.